Monthly Archives: December 2013

Christmas Greeting Cards

“Softly Snowing” and “Silent Snowfall” Watercolour Paintings and Christmas Cards.

There is an interesting and exciting effect of the light which I have used in the painting of these two watercolours and which has made them eye catching as Christmas Cards.

It happens throughout the year and can occur whenever there is a sky which becomes unusually dark.  In this case, as it is close to Christmas and I am hoping to use the paintings as inspiration for Christmas Greeting Cards, it is winter, when the sky is heavy laden with an impending snow storm. The dense banks of cloud create a brooding feeling which can suddenly be thrown into dramatic contrast by a low shaft of light cutting in underneath the cloud.  This has the effect of framing objects in bright relief against the dark sky and can be used to great effect to add dramatic tension to a landscape.

In the case of the Painting and Christmas Card “Softly Snowing” the dark early evening sky and bright reflected light from the snow create a strong silhouette for the beautiful Church of All Saints’ which stands illuminated right at the centre of North Ferriby village.  In my imagination the bustle of the village has died down leaving empty streets, fresh snow begins to fall, and the snow laden branches of trees show out strongly against the dark sky.  From the beginning the title “Softly Snowing” was in my mind for this water colour painting so it was necessary to contain some of the dramatic energy which can be loosed by these shafts of light or the “Softness” would have been lost. This is why I chose to introduce only a very limited amount of colour so that it is the Church itself that glows with warmth and is contrasted against the cold dark sky and bright snow laden landscape.

Softly Snowing is an original Watercolour Painting and is also available as a Christmas Card

Softly Snowing is an original Watercolour Painting and is also available as a Christmas Card.

Silent Snowfall” has also made a very successful Christmas Card.  In this painting, also of All Saints’ Church, North Ferriby, it was in keeping with the leafy centre of the village to use tree branches as a frame for the scene.  Here it is daytime and so the low shaft of light is a wintery pale sienna  which also illuminates the last remaining leaves of the tree before leading the eye straight to the Church which is the main subject of the painting.

Silent Snowfall is an original watercolour painting and is also available as a Christmas Card

Silent Snowfall is an original watercolour painting and is also available as a Christmas Card.

Another winter water colour painting which you will shortly be able to see in the Art Prints and Greeting Cards Galleries uses a similar grey sky to energise the landscape. Again the scene is lit by a low shaft of light with the dark elements pushing the viewer into the painting and emphasising the brightness and warm welcome of the farm house. This creates a sense of “Almost Home” which eventually became the title of the painting and was an ideal subject for a Christmas Greeting Card.

I hope these examples give you inspiration to begin a winter painting and not be daunted by the lack of sunlight and greenery at this time of year.  Other Christmas Cards from my winter watercolour paintings are on show and available to purchase from my Greeting Cards Gallery at www.minigallery.co.uk and will soon be available from the Greeting Cards Gallery of this site.